Now it’s finally time for the Centaurs, of A Centaur’s Life. Just in case you don’t know, a centaur is a half human, half horse creature from Greek mythology. In the original myth centaurs are all male, with the female centaurs appearing in the late classical period. There are male and female centaurs in both A Centaur’s Life and Daily Lives of Monster Girls. However, I will be focusing more on the former as it lacks the fanservice elements of the latter.
In the first episode we discover that Himeno can run the 100m in 9 seconds, which is considered to be very impressive by her friends.
Something tells me she would have been fine even if she hadn’t dodged the car. Large animals tend to win those encounters.
Himeno dashes that admiration by explaining that by Centaur standards that is pretty slow. If Centaurs are anything like real world horses, then she is telling the truth, as the fastest horse in the world, Winning Brew, can cover 100m in 5 seconds.
She also states that she runs 20km (12.5 miles) every morning with her mother, and while that might seem like a lot she is part horse. Horses have a variety of gaits (movement style).
Walk- This is the slowest way of moving for a horse where each leg moves one at a time- 4mph.
Trot- The next step up is a 2-beat gait where two legs are moving while the other 2 are on the ground. The speed can vary greatly, but the average is 8mph.
Her friends are either very fast or the animators did not study horses.
Canter- This is a 3-beat gait, where one leg remains on the ground, while the other 3 are moving. The average canter speed is between 10-17mph.
Gallop- The fastest of the horse gaits, where all 4 legs lose contact with the ground during each cycle of steps. The average speed is between 25-30mph, but horses normally only do this for 1-2 miles to escape threats.
I think it is most likely that Himeno’s runs are probably a fast trot to an average canter, and that they probably take her about an hour or less.
FYI- when it comes to riding horses, the way the gait feels to the rider can vary greatly. While riding horses in Mongolia, the horses are trained to use a very fast trot instead of a canter, which can make riding difficult if you are used to a normal canter gait.
The reason Himeno’s morning runs are brought up is that they are actually a necessary step to control her weight. Apparently if a Centaur becomes too heavy, they will no longer be able to perform certain functions necessary while using the facilities. I had to roll my eyes at this one, because based on the artwork, and my experiences riding horses, it isn’t actually possible. Not to mention that horses lack the muscles and nerve control to hold it. This is why you see the horses on those horse drawn carriage rides in city parks wearing what amounts to horse diapers.
Lastly, the few times we see Himeno eat she eats very little, when in fact she should be eating more than all of the other characters combined, due to her size alone. Either she chows down off screen, or she is potentially on the way to becoming an anorexic centaur. That being said, the anime does play her weight straight, when the stage prop collapses during the school play as Himeno stands on it.
Neither the anime or the manga give any definitive numbers on how much Himeno weighs but if I had to guess I would say she probably weighs around 600lbs. I am basing this on the fact that if you look at her size relative to other characters she appears to be about the size of a Mongolian horse, which average around 600lbs.
First, let’s start with the animation failure because Shino (the dark-haired girl) is a Centaur, but she seems to be missing some of her legs in this shot. After that let’s go with just how strong is Himeno because she is carrying one of Manami’s sisters and her cousin Shino. Chi probably weighs around 30-40lbs or so, but Shino is probably 3x times that amount. Don’t forget that Himeno is holding Shino with one arm.
It is mentioned in A Centaur’s Life that red hair is rare in Japanese Centaurs, which really just mirrors the fact that red hair is not very common in Asian populations. It is possible for Asians to have red hair, but it is less common. So, art is imitating life.
The anime also mentions that Centaurs have strong tendons that allow them to stand for a long period of time. This is in reference to a system that horses have that allow them to sleep standing up. However, it is less of a tendon and more of joint.
The stifle joint in a horse is pretty much a human knee with some extra parts thrown in. The important part is that the horse can move its patella in such a way that causes a tendon to be hooked onto a notch on the femur. This prevents the joint from bending, allowing the horse to sleep and relax some of the leg muscles and not fall over. Again, art imitates life.
Other bits of Centaur Anatomy
I think that this picture says it all. All of Himeno’s major organs are going to be located in her horse torso, and not in her human torso. There simply isn’t enough room to contain all of the organs at the size needed to support a half-human, half-horse body.
While there was a lot of material, it was a harder one for me to write about as I couldn’t find an overarching theme to put this one together, as it was just a lot of little bits, and nothing I could bust or confirm. Either way I hope that you enjoyed the exploration of centaur traits. Please leave any comments or questions in the comments section below.